Katherine Spencer (Manhunter)

Ok, Arrow is really putting me to a test: every episode introduces some new characters, who in the comics are quite relevant, sometimes displaying them in roles that are little more than cameos. A fresh example from the episode Damaged: the prosecutor who tries to bring Oliver Queen to trial for being the masked vigilante, portrayed by Chelah Horsdal, is actually Kate Spencer, a character well known to the comics readers under her masked identity of Manhunter.

Kate’s life wasn’t easy at all: she was born the daughter of Walter and Lydia Pratt, a couple that wasn’t exactly idyllic. When she was just a little girl, Walter killed Lydia and was arrested, leaving her alone. She grew up developing a deep strength and trust in herself, always believing that she could only rely on herself. Because of her father’s actions, she decided to change her name in Spencer, taking her mother’s one. She married a novelist and had a son from him, Ramsey. She decided to become a lawyer, so that she could bring justice in situations like the one that occured to her when she was a child. Unfortunately, her passion for her work brought her to sacrifice her family life, and this caused her divorce. Ramsey stayed with her, developing quite an awkward relationship with his mother. She became DA of Gotham City, but also under a professional point of view, Kate’s life began to fail her expectations. She had become a lawyer to bring justice, but she was able only to witness helplessly as criminals eluded justice itself and gained freedom using quibbles and unscrupolous lawyers. The final straw, for Kate, arrived when she was unable to incarcerate the vicious villain Copperhead, a mass murderer and a cannibal. Copperhead avoided death penalty after killing an incredible amount of people because the judge recognized him as a victim of a genetic anomaly. Put in custody, Copperhead killed two guards and escaped. Determined to stop the criminal, Kate stole some equipment from an evidence room, tracked Copperhead and killed him. That was the solution Kate found for not being able of punishing all the criminals she prosecuted, and she created the masked identity of the Manhunter.

In order to continue her crusade and to be able to face superhuman opponents, Kate started to blackmail Dylan Battles, a criminal in the Witness Protection Program, who manufactured weapons and equipment for many masked criminals. She forced him to build an armor for her, and some kinky weapons she could use in her human hunt. The greatest challenge for Manhunter arrived when her father, Walter Pratt, developed superpowers and escaped from prison: he tried to kill both his daughter and his grandson, and Kate had to win her fear of him in order to protect her son. After the fight, she started investigating on her family, since she came to believe to be the granddaughter of Al Pratt, the former superhero known as Atom, member of the Justice Society of America. During her research, anyway, she realized that Atom only placed his name on Walter’s birth certificate, since he accompanied his friend Sandra Knight, the heroine Phantom Lady, to a home for unwed mothers, after she got pregnant from her unknowing boyfriend and future husband Arnold Munro, another legendary superhero known as Iron Munro. Reassured about her legacy, Kate continued her activity as a vigilante, finding even one more concern when her son Ramsey developed superpowers on his own (actually, it seems that, in the family, only Kate was skipped).

Kate Spencer is a determined woman, with a deep sense of right and wrong and a personal moral code which makes her merciless towards criminals. DA by day and vigilante by night, the Manhunter, assisted by superb athletical skills and a rich set of gadgets, chases and kills whoever has escaped justice, to inflict an immediate and without appeal death penalty.



  1. […] deduced that he was Alan Scott. Cameron also recruited for the DEO her college roommate, Kate Spencer, now the new Manhunter, and she even started a romantic relationship with her friend’s […]

  2. […] and over the years many other heroines (such as Big Barda, Hawkgirl, Dove, Vixen, Catwoman, Manhunter and many others) joined and left the Birds’ ranks. After a battle with Black […]

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